Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Thoughts on Boris and opening of Woolwich Arsenal

Woolwich Arsenal Opens
Originally uploaded by MackenzieBlu

As promised here some more detailed writings on what went on yesterday.

Monday was the latest opening of an DLR extension. once again ahead of its planned opening and quietly transforming the local area. I managed to view the station a few months back while its was under going final touches to become the station fit for the public. One thing I was surpised was the feeling of airyness at the high two levels from the skylight (you can see the affect it has on the image above with some of the skylight just on the right hand side of the image). The basic island layout of the station reminds me of North Greenwich (grey rather than blue) but thats hardly a bad thing.

Now back to the opening. Boris managed to get himself caught up in a major delay and turned up 40mins late and then managed to struggle to get the barriers open with his Oyster (seriously). One thing if hes coming from London bridge, shouldn't he have had a paper ticket? Especially as he used a SouthEastern service to get to Woolwich Arsenal. Once Boris got there he was mobbed by locals and went straight into shaking hands.

Boris speech to the gathered pressed seemed more about giving a commanding prescense than actually saying much. He seemed to like the word regeneration alot as he used it repeatedly. He actually did a joke that TfL should take over SouthEastern as soon as possible to keep the train serve running to time! Seems Mayors have a taste for TOCs with Ken wanting Southern!

The invited guests were taken around a short tour around the station before being taken down to platform level and Boris spoke to reporters. This is where I got to speak to Ian Brown of TfL Rail and managed to get some important questions answered.

I managed to get a train back with Boris and Ian Bown onboard.It was clear once we got to City Airport that Boris had never been this way before. As the local area was described for him it made me think, after all he had gone on about regeneration but didnt seem to know what was actually happening in the Royal Docks at all.

All in all another success for the DLR is now hard at work supporting people in East London. I would like to thank my contacts at the DLR for my invite for the day and hopefully see you again for the next opening.

To see my images from the day go to my flickr set



Will Mann said...

So Boris had never been around the eastern Docklands area before... but was quite happy to pull the plug on the Dagenham extension?

Mackenzie_blu said...

It seems that way as the other VIPs were informing him of what was around him including the new TfL building at North Woolwich

johnswallow said...

>> One thing if hes coming from London bridge, shouldn't he have had a paper ticket?

Who says he's used Oyster PAYG to get there? He could have had a Travelcard on it. :D

I went down there on Saturday. It's a very nice station which then leaves you in an area desperate for some TLC and regeneration. Let's hope DLR helps.

Abigail said...

I'm assuming that Boris has an LT staff card.

Mackenzie_blu said...

TfL cards aren't valid on SouthEastern side. Only travelcards are. Also it was clear Boris didnt know who to work it as it took a few tries to open the gate.